Former NBA Star's Opposition To Gay Marriage Stirs Anger

SACRAMENTO (AP) - Sacramento mayoral candidate Kevin Johnson
upset local gay and lesbian leaders after saying he believes marriage is between a man and a woman.

The former NBA star made the statement in response to a question
during a candidate debate this week.

Gretchen Bender, vice president of the Sacramento County Board of Education, says Johnson's statement shows that he is not ready to lead the city.

Bender and a half-dozen other gay and lesbian leaders held a news conference to express their concern about the former Phoenix
Suns star.

Johnson issued a statement saying he supports civil unions and equal benefits for same-sex couples. But he added that his religion does not advocate same-sex marriage.

Mayor Heather Fargo and the five other candidates support gay
marriage.
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Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-05-09-08 1359EDT


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